The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-411 – Katy Sheratt – CEO Back on my Feet

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4411.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-411 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   Like I mentioned last week 411 and 412 are out of order due to the forecasted recording sequence being different than the actual recording sequence and me not wanting to go move files around. 

But, I know you, you don’t care about such things.  You care about important things like running past your house at the end of a long run to pick up that last .003 miles because you’ll be damned if you enter 6.97 miles into your log.

Today we have a very good interview with Katy Sherratt who is the front person, the leader, for Back on My Feet.  This is the organization that helps homeless individuals by leveraging the transformational power of running. 

We have spoken with this organization before.  We have history.  I was so fascinated by their program that I chased down the initial leadership team for an interview back in episode 89, which would have been 10 years ago, and then interviewed one of their recovering addicts in episode 167.  So, if your interested we’ve got sample points in the life cycle curve of this program from its birth to where it is now. 

It’s a testament to how effective and resonant the program is that it grew from that nascent good idea of one runner in Baltimore to the professionally managed, multi-city, international manifestation of today.  And, I was interested to ask Katy about that progression.  Katy is a professional and you can hear the media coaching in her responses, but I think I did a good job of asking the questions that I truly wanted to understand. 

My training is not going great.  I’ve still got this troublesome high-hamstring tendinosis that is really curtailing my ability to push the pace or climb hills at pace.  It’s fine until I load it then it screams back at me.  I’m currently working through the best way to re-hab it. 

That being said I have been getting some good volume in.  I’m trying to get 2 longer runs of 8 – 10 miles in during the week, then get a bike ride in on Saturday, then go longer on Sunday on the tired legs.  But, it’s a bit unstructured and I a feel a bit adrift.

It’s getting hot and humid up here and the bugs are out.  This makes trail running a bit less enjoyable.

I tweaked it Tuesday night and I’m limping around a bit right now.  It was a hot night.  There is a summer race series that many folks from my club run in near my office so I decided I’d run over to the race, run the 5k with them, then run back.

Jogged over, it was about 4 miles away.  That was ok, a nice easy warm up.  Then I lined up for the 5K.  No big deal.  I just kicked it off at a solid tempo pace and felt pretty good.  Clicked off the first mile at around a 7 minute mile, working hard but not killing myself, it had a lot of downhill.  Then the course climbs a little hill over a bridge, over the river, and as I was leaning into the hill something tweaked in my left hamstring.

I didn’t stop running but I slowed down to a pace where I wasn’t loading the hamstring and limped it in.   Got passed by a lot of people in the 2nd mile!  Had to get a ride back to my office.  2 days later and it is still noticeable sore.  So, looks like I have a new project.

I listen to a lot of history podcasts.  And when I find a new one, I typically start at the beginning and listen through until I’m caught up.  The interesting thing about this to me, is the pattern.  There’s this arc to a successful podcast. 

They start out as tentative and unsure of themselves. Then they start to get positive feedback and they find their stride.  They comment with amazement on the 100 listeners, then the 1,000 listeners and the 10,000 listeners. 

Then they start to think that this could be a fulltime job for them and they start to look for revenue.  The audible ads, the Patrion page, the iTunes reviews.

At some point they become quite pleased with their progress and start having Q&A session about “Why they got into the podcast and where they got the theme music and some even quit their jobs. You can do that if you’re a history major.

It’s fun to watch.  I’m not sure what part of that cycle I’m in.  I decided quite early on that this was a labor of love and I was primarily doing it as an exercise in self-preservation and improvement for myself, not for any practical or commercial concern.  I talked to sponsors, but to be honest, I hate commercials and there just isn’t enough money in ads to move my needle.   

I stopped paying attention to numbers but, weirdly to imagine, we’ve had multi-millions of downloads from around the world.  I don’t even know how to containerize that number.  Each of those might be some individual, you for instance, at some point in their lives, looking for some combination of information, entertainment or inspiration, I get that personal touch point, but I can’t wrap my brain around the abstract of ‘millions’.

I do get a bit of a satisfied feeling about the 400+ hours of content we have available for you now.  That’s a goodly chunk body of work and by my calculations represents about a million words of content.  That’s 4-5 goodly books worth of material.

So, thank you all, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whenever you are, for facilitating my personal journey of creation.  I appreciate it. 

I think the lesson here, is that you, yes you, as an individual can start something for no apparent reason and it can be the proverbial snowball that creates an avalanche. 

For me it’s bee the personal connection and friends and opportunities for connection that are the best part.  For you it might be fame and fortune. 

Put yourself in the running shoes of Anne Mahlum.  You are running in Philly at 5 o’clock in the morning and you keep running by the homeless shelter. You think to yourself, “Ya know what would be a good idea?  If someone were to invite these folks out for a run and potentially transform their lives.” 

And so she started Back on my Feet with that one small thought and that one kick of the snowball.

What’s your snowball?

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


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Section one – Form series Chapter One -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Katy Sherratt

Katy Sherratt leads Back on My Feet as Chief Executive Officer. An award-winning social innovation leader, Katy has been instrumental in increasing Back on My Feet’s programmatic impact by over 75% and introduced new and important measures to demonstrate the holistic impact of the program. Under her tenure, Back on My Feet has gone from early stage startup to sustainable organization and is now a leader in the homelessness services space nationwide. Funding has increased by over 50% thanks to the growth of existing, and cultivation of new, partnerships and fundraising streams and the geographic expansion of operations along the East and West coasts.

Katy has been recognized across multiple media and news outlets including by The Economist’s Philanthrocapitalism program as a leader in social innovation and cutting edge non-profit management. In 2016 she was also named among Women’s Running Magazine’s “Top 20 Gamechangers” and most recently a winner at the Philadelphia Social Innovation Awards.

Katy brings over 15 years of leadership experience across both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining Back on My Feet, Katy led global projects for Accenture in their UK and US-based Strategy Practices working with corporate clients, NGOs and nonprofits with clients ranging from leading Financial Institutions to the United Nations. “I’m honored to lead such a unique, dynamic and growing organization,” said Katy. “You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a 5K runner, to feel the power of what we do on the morning runs – the community we build for individuals experiencing homelessness is the critical missing link and the reason why we’ve had such huge success in enabling our members to transition out of homelessness and maintain that transition.”


Section two – The Happiness Curve – navigating the cliff -




Well, my friends, that was fun, huh?  You got up at 5:00 AM and ended up at the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-411, you are amazing.

I have no idea whether or not I’m going to survive this summer with the sore but and sore knee and hot weather, I’m a hot mess!  But it is the season I’m in, yeah? 

I’ll give you a couple tips. 

The first tip, which I haven’t tested yet, bt seems to be corroborated from multiple sources is how to make a DIY der fly trap.  The deer flies are awful this time of year. I got chased out of the woods by them last week.  Even if you have the big hat on and the bug spray they still harass you in their multitudes.

You can buy the deer fly patches which are a sticky patch that you put on the back of your hat that they get stuck on.  Or, you can make them.  The instructions are to take some blue tape (apparently the flies like blue and that painters tape works great) and create a 2X6 inch patch on the back of your hat.  Then apply a layer of an off the shelf product called “Tanglefoot” which is sticky goop that you apply to tree trunks to keep bugs from climbing up.

That’s it. This will trap the flies, or enough of them, to solve the problem. 

The second tip is for your bottles.  If you carry water bottles on your run, either in your hand or in a belt, you may notice that they start to taste a bit moldy as they age.  Especially if you have been putting sports drink concoctions in them. 

It just can’t be helped.  The sugars get turned into wildlife.  You can wash them out.  You can rinse them with a bleach solution.  You can put them in the dishwasher.  But once those beasties get in there it’s a losing battle. 

I don’t want to gross you out but the problem is typically hiding in your nipples.  That rubber bit that sticks out of the top of the bottle has crevices that you can’t get to. 

But guess what?  If you pull on that nipple you can usually get it to pop off.  Once you pop it off you’ll see all the black stuff in there and you can scrub it out.   Then you can pop it back in. Good to go.

So that’s it.  We went from form to homelessness to old age to moldy nipples – such are the seasons of life.


And I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


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Direct download: epi4411.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT





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